Friday, June 28, 2013

Thales Alenia Space To Build Euclid Cosmology Satellite

The European Space Agency, ESA, has chosen Thales Alenia Space to build the new Euclid cosmology satellite in a contract worth €322.5 million.
Scheduled for launch in 2020, Euclid will explore dark energy and dark matter, the essential but still mysterious ingredients in today’s “Standard Model’ of cosmology. In this model, the majority of matter in the universe is invisible (dark matter), and the universe is expanding at an increasing rate under the action of a still unknown energy source (dark energy).
ESA's selection of the satellite prime contractor follows its choice of the contractor for the payload module (PLM assigned to Astrium SAS of Toulouse), comprising a telescope and an optical bench hosting the instruments, announced earlier this year. The PLM contract will be incorporated into the overall prime contract, completing the tier-1 industrial team that will build the spacecraft.
During Phase B of the program, scheduled to end in the third quarter of 2014, the industrial team led by Thales Alenia Space will add tier-2 contractors, based on ESA’s best practices selection process for the procurement.
Euclid will be in an orbit around the second Lagrange point (L2) about one and a half million kilometres behind the Earth, when looking from the Sun, from where it will observe nearly all of the extragalactic sky (>15,000 deg²) for a period of six years. It will map the large-scale structure of the Universe by tiling individual 0.5 deg² fields, each observed for about 1.5 hours. The design drivers for this mission include survey speed and completeness, accurate and precise pointing, and strict stability of the measurement chain. Thales Alenia Space's design features an innovative pointing method, combining accuracy and agility, backed by a stable, precisely controlled thermal environment in a spacecraft design that largely draws on ESA's long technology heritage.
Euclid's 1.2-meter diameter telescope will feed two wide-field instruments, a visible light camera (VIS) and a near infrared spectro-photometer (NISP). This new mission will consolidate Europe’s position at the forefront of space cosmology, following Planck, the ESA satellite dedicated to exploration of the cosmic microwave background, also built by Thales Alenia Space.Scientists announced the initial results of the Planck mission earlier this year, in March.
Thales Alenia Space is a joint venture between Thales (67%) and Finmeccanica (33%).

ATSB: Failed Rolls Royce Trent 900 Engine Had Oil Feed Pipe Not Confirming to Design Specifcation

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has found that low quality engine oil feed pipes caused the uncontained engine failure involving a Qantas Airbus A380 jumbo jet over Batam Island, Indonesia on 4 November 2010.
ATSB found that a number of oil feed stub pipes within the High Pressure / Intermediate pressure (HP/IP) hub assembly were manufactured with thin wall sections that did not conform to the design specifications. These non-conforming pipes were fitted to Trent 900 engines, including the No. 2 engine on VH-OQA. The thin wall section significantly reduced the life of the oil feed stub pipe on the No. 2 engine so that a fatigue crack developed, ultimately releasing oil during the flight that resulted in an internal oil fire. That fire led to the separation of the intermediate pressure turbine disc from the drive shaft. The disc accelerated and burst with sufficient force that the engine structure could not contain it, releasing high-energy debris.
Engine maker Rolls Royce said the oil pipe was one of a small number which had been incorrectly manufactured as a result of a measurement error during a precision drilling procedure.
Following the incident, and in parallel with the ATSB's investigation, Rolls-Royce carried out its own detailed investigations to understand and address the chain of events which led to faulty oil pipes being released into service. A number of issues were identified and changes implemented to address them, including:
*.Royce released an engine control software update that included an IP turbine over speed protection system (IPTOS) that is designed to shut the engine down before the turbine disc can over speed, in the unlikely event that a similar failure occurs..
*.Better quality assurance processes with supporting training.
*.Revised analysis of the likely effects on an engine in the event of a component failure.
*.Improved manufacturing and design procedures.
Uncontained disc failures are extremely uncommon. Before the 4 November 2010 incident, the last such failure on a Rolls-Royce large civil engine occurred in 1994 since when the fleet has accumulated more than 170 million engine flying hours.

British Airways Adds First Boeing 787 Dreamliners


Boeing delivered British Airways's first Boeing 787 Dreamliner airliner.The British Airways 787 departed Paine Field in Everett, Washington, on Wednesday, June 26, and arrived at London's Heathrow Airport on Tuesday at 12:10 pm local time.
The airplane was welcomed to its Heathrow home by Willie Walsh, chief executive officer of International Airlines Group (IAG), the company that owns British Airways.
"The 787 is a tremendous, innovative aircraft which sets new standards for environmental performance and operating efficiency and I'm sure British Airways' customers will love it," said Walsh. "The 787 will become a mainstay of the British Airways fleet over the next few years."
British Airways has announced that the airline will operate the 787 from Heathrow to Toronto from Sept.1 and Heathrow to Newark from Oct. 1.
The 787 Dreamliner is composed of lightweight composites and features numerous systems, engine and aerodynamic advancements, with unmatched fuel efficiency using 20 percent less fuel than today's similarly sized airplanes. It is the first mid-sized airplane capable of flying long-range routes, providing airlines with unprecedented fuel economy and low operating costs and enabling airlines to open new, non-stop routes preferred by passengers.
On a 787 with Rolls-Royce engines, UK companies make about 25 percent of the 787 by value.
The British Airways 787 Dreamliner carries 214 passengers and is configured with 35 seats in Club World, 25 in World Traveller Plus and 154 seats in the World Traveller cabin.
British Airways operates more than 140 Boeing airplanes within its fleet including 52 777s, as well as the world's largest fleet of 747s with 52.
This is the first of 24 787s British Airways has on order. In addition, IAG recently announced that it will convert 18 787 options to firm orders for British Airways, subject to shareholder agreement. Twelve of these will be 787-10s, meaning British Airways will operate the entire 787 family – the 787-8, 787-9 and 787-10.
British Airways employs approximately 40,000 people, based mainly in the UK, although it has staff based in more 75 countries around the world. The airline has 14,500 cabin crew and 3,500 pilots. The airline's route network currently serves in excess of 177 destinations and it operates in excess of 300,000 flights per year.

Indian Coast Guard Dornier-228 Makes Maiden All Women Flight

Recently an Indian Coast Guard's maritime reconnaissance aircraft Dornier-228 made an all woman sortie, comprising Asst Comdt Neetu Singh Bartwal (Captain of the aircraft), Asst Comdt Neha Murudkar (pilot in command) and Asst Comdt Shristi Singh (Co-pilot).
This maiden flight was undertaken from Coast Guard Air Station Daman situated on the Western Sea Board of the India.
This achievement was possible with passing out of 1st Short Service Entry (observers) course comprising 3 women officers who had undergone long drawn training in various Naval and Coast Guard establishments for qualifying as an air borne tactician. These women officers had toiled long hours gaining proficiency in handling Dornier aircraft and sensors for safeguarding the maritime borders of India.
During this mission the crew flew over one hour and landed safely with a warm welcome by Station Commander, Officers and men of Coast Guard Air Station Daman applauding the milestone.
The first all women flight has not only brought laurels to the Indian Coast Guard but also to the women fraternity proving exceptional skills and commitment to the nation.

Canada Inducts First CH-147F Chinook Helicopter

Canada’s first Boeing CH-147F Chinook heavy lift helicopter arrived in Canada on June 25, 2013.
The delivery of Canada’s versatile workhorse aircraft was marked with a ceremony held at the Canada Reception Centre in Ottawa on June 27, 2013.
The first CH-147F was accepted by the Royal Canadian Air Force’s 450 Tactical Helicopter Squadron, and will be followed by six additional aircraft over the remainder of 2013.
The Canadian government awarded Boeing a contract for 15 Medium-to-Heavy-Lift Helicopters (MHLH) and in-service support in June 2009, with deliveries scheduled to be completed by June 2014.
These new Canadian F-model Chinooks are dramatically improved compared to the old C-models operated by the CAF in the 1970s and 1980s.
The aircraft’s features include a modernized airframe with a long-range fuel system - more than twice the range of other F-model and previous Chinook variants, upgraded electrical system, fully integrated Common Avionics Architecture System cockpit, and Digital Automatic Flight Control System. The aircraft also has improved survivability features including a Directional Infrared Counter measures system.
Boeing will provide in-service support to the MHLH fleet for the next 20 years under a Performance-Based Logistics (PBL) contract. The company has already awarded six contracts to Canadian suppliers for services under the program.
The value of the Chinook helicopter was highlighted by the CAF’s operational experience in Afghanistan, with the six D-model versions employed there as part of Canada’s Air Wing in Kandahar. This workhorse helicopter saved lives, and contributed significantly to mission success by rapidly transporting troops and equipment to locations that would be more dangerous or impossible to reach by ground.
The CH-147F Chinook is an advanced, multi-mission, medium to heavy-lift helicopter. Its primary mission is the tactical transport of equipment and personnel during domestic or deployed operations.

Engine Oil Leak Caused Inflight Engine Failure of Qantas A380 Airliner in 2010

Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) released the final report of its investigation into the uncontained engine failure involving a Qantas Airbus A380 jumbo jet over Batam Island, Indonesia on 4 November 2010.
The accident occurred shortly after the four engined Airbus A380 aircraft took off from Singapore. At about 7,000 ft above Batam Island, the aircraft sustained an uncontained engine rotor failure (UERF) of the No. 2 Rolls Royce Trent 900 engine. Debris from the UERF impacted the aircraft, resulting in significant structural and systems damage.
The debris hit the aircraft’s left wing and fuselage, and onto Batam Island. There was significant damage to the aircraft’s electrical, hydraulic and other systems. The flight crew managed the situation and, after completing the required actions for the multitude of system failures, safely returned to and landed at Changi Airport, Singapore.
The ATSB found that the engine failure was the result of a fatigue crack in an oil feed pipe. The crack allowed the release of oil that resulted in an internal oil fire.The oil fire led to one of the engine’s turbine discs separating from the drive shaft. The disc then over-accelerated and broke apart, bursting through the engine casing and releasing other high energy debris.
The ATSB also found that the oil pipe, together with a number of similar pipes in other engines, had been made with a thin wall section and did not comply with the design specifications. The thin wall substantially increased the likelihood of fatigue cracking.
The ATSB worked closely with international regulators, Rolls-Royce and Airbus to ensure the continued safety of Trent 900-powered A380s. Early in the investigation, the ATSB issued a recommendation to Rolls-Royce about the manufacture of the oil feed stub pipes. As part of its final report, the ATSB issued recommendations to the European and US regulators so that lessons learned from this accident would be incorporated into aircraft certification advisory material designed to minimize hazards from uncontained engine failures.
As a result of the ATSB’s investigation, regulatory authorities and operators around the world took steps to ensure that engines with non-conforming oil feed stub pipes were identified and managed appropriately. Rolls-Royce also made changes to their quality assurance system to improve the way they manage non-conforming parts.
Rolls-Royce in a press release supported the conclusions of the ATSB.

GE to Spend $200 Million on its Next-Generation GE9X Engine For 777X


GE Aviation is assembling the high pressure compressor (HPC) rig that will be tested this summer as part of the GE9X engine study for Boeing's 777X aircraft. The high pressure compressor rig will be a 90 percent scale of the full size HPC on the next-generation GE90 engine and is part of the $200 million GE will spend in 2013 on technology maturation programs for the engine.
The HPC rig test will occur at a GE Oil & Gas facility in Massa, Italy in July. The HPC rig will include more than 1,000 pieces of instrumentation.
The next-generation GE90 engine incorporates an 11-stage HPC with new aerodynamic technology and a 4th generation powdered alloy material that will produce a 27-to-1 pressure ratio, which will be the highest pressure ratio of any commercial engine in service. The new HPC design will significantly increase thermal efficiency and contribute a 2 percent improvement in the engine's fuel burn.
GE Aviation's engine study, called the GE9X, for the 777X aircraft has been underway for several years. The engine will be in the 100,000 lbs. thrust class with a 10 percent improvement in fuel burn over today's GE90-115B.
Key features include a 132" diameter composite fan case and 4th generation composite fan blades; next-generation 27:1 pressure ratio high pressure compressor; a 3rd-generation TAPS (twin annular pre-swirl) combustor for greater efficiency and low emissions; and ceramic matrix composite (CMC) material in the combustor and turbine.
Among the test cell upgrades are: an enhanced ventilation system capable of the cooling and heating required by the HPC module, a unique exhaust frame and water quenching system and new instrumentation and data acquisition systems. A new inlet system was also installed and will be tested this month.
The first full core test is scheduled for 2015. The first engine will test in 2016 with flight testing on GE's flying testbed anticipated in 2017. Engine certification is scheduled for 2018.
Testing on the new fan module, which includes 4th generation composite fan blades and a composite fan case, is set for later this year. In 2014, GE Aviation will conduct tests on GE9X hot section components made from ceramic matrix composites (CMCs). The components will be tested on a GEnx demonstrator engine to gather information onfunctionality and durability.
The GE9X will follow the highly successful GE90-115B engine that entered service in 2004.
At 115,000 pounds of thrust, the GE90-115B engine includes such performance-enhancing features as three-dimensional aerodynamic (3-D aero) compressor and wide-chord, swept composite fan blades for greater efficiency.
The dual annular combustor emits no more than 40 percent of the hydrocarbons allowed by today's international standards. In addition, today's GE90-115B engines have been enhanced to reduce fuel burn by 3.6% from the 2000 launch specification.
More than 1,500 GE90-115B engines have been ordered by customers for their Boeing 777-300ERs, 777-200LRs and 777 Freighters.
In 2011, the GE90 engine experienced its most successful year and accumulated airline and freighter operator commitments for 400 engines, surpassing the 250 engine commitments record from 2007.
Specifically designed for the Boeing 777, the GE90-115B holds the world record for thrust totaling 127,900 lbs. of thrust.
General Electric GE90 is a family of high-bypass turbofan aircraft engines built by GE Aviation exclusively for the Boeing 777, with thrust ratings ranging from 74,000 to 115,000 lbf (329 to 512 kN).
The GE90 series are physically thel argest engines in aviation history, the fan diameter of the original series being 312 cm (123 in). The largest variant, the GE90-115B, has a fan diameter of 325 cm (128 in). As a result, GE90 engines can only be airfreighted in assembled form by outsize cargo aircraft such as the Antonov An-124 Condor, presenting unique problems if, due to emergency diversions, a 777 were stranded in a place without the proper spare parts. If the fan is removed from the core, then the engines could be shipped on a Boeing 747 Freighter.
Apart from its size, the GE90-115B is powerful enough to fully operate GE's Boeing 747 testbed on its own power during a maximum thrust low speed flight test on board the aircraft.
Snecma of France, Avio SpA of Italy and IHI Corporation of Japan are partners in the GE90 program.

Boeing To Upgrade B-52 Bombers with Network Centric Capability

Boeing is upgrading the communication systems of the U.S. Air Force B-52 bombers under a $76 million Combat Network Communications Technology (CONECT) contract.
The upgrade will enable aircrews to send and receive information via satellite links, allowing crews to change mission plans and retarget weapons in flight and better interact with aircraft and ground forces.
To date, mission information has been uploaded to a B-52 only before a flight, not during. The upgrade, one of the largest improvements to the venerable bomber fleet, will therefore significantly improve B-52 effectiveness and flexibility.
The upgrade is scheduled to start at Tinker Air Base, Oklahoma in July. Each upgrade will take an estimated nine months to complete.
A CONECT kit was installed in a modified B-52 at Edwards AFB, California, and has been field tested for several years, Boeing spokesperson Jennifer Hogan said.
The CONECT contract covers low rate initial production of the first CONECT kits, along with spare parts and maintenance and service at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma.
System installation will begin during the latter part of 2014.
Other improvements will include a state-of-the-art computing network with workstations at each crew position and an integrated digital interphone with increased capacity; it will enable crew members to talk to one another on headsets with noise-cancelling technology.
The CONECT program will serve as the enabler for Network-Centric Operations (NCO) capability on the B-52 and will allow the Air Force to transform the aircraft's mission through information integration, both on-board and off-board the aircraft.
The CONECT program will improve the B-52's ability to share data with other military systems and platforms through enhanced communications, added tactical data links for increased situational awareness, and new technology allowing aircraft crews to dynamically retask missions and weapons during flight. Components include an architectural foundation of color displays, networks and computational assets, a Link-16 tactical data link, and an advanced wideband terminal which will provide B-52 crews significant enhancements in situational awareness and communication capabilities.
The B-52 Stratofortress is a long-range, strategic heavy bomber capable of dropping or launching the widest array of weapons in the U.S. inventory, used for strategic attack, air interdiction, offensive counter-air and maritime operations.
The B-52H was delivered to the US Air Force in 1961-62. The aircraft have been kept aloft through regular maintenance and periodic upgrades. For example, GPS capabilities were incorporated into their navigation systems in the late 1980s.
The latest version, the B-52H, can carry up to 20 air-launched cruise missiles. The B-52 has been one of the longest-serving bomber in U.S. military history.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Thales Awarded Study Contract by French DGA

Thales Alenia Space, serving as prime contractor, has signed a study contract with French defense Procurement Agency (DGA) to enhance communications between ground and military mission aircrafts through a telecommunication satellite without interruption during extreme flying conditions (attitude, tight turns, landing).
The aim of KALB study (KALB standing for Kit Aero Large Bande, that is Wide Band Airborne Kit) is to develop a high through put airborne SATCOM terminal compatible with a wide range of aircraft including Airbus A400 airlifter, Airbus -330 MRTT Tanker, ATL2. Typically a Tanker equipped with KALB will beable to disseminate in quasi real time Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance information collected by fighters.
From 2014 onwards the Athena-Fidus dual use Ka-band telecommunication satellite built by Thales Alenia Space, will provide French Forces with very high data rate capabilities for deployed forces. The dissemination of tactical information between forces at all level has become a mandatory capability in recent conflicts, requesting ever increasing communications capacities.
KALB innovation relies on Thales group large expertise, demonstrated here in twofold:
*.an improved version of the standard DVB-S2 product to take into account airborne applications requirements (Spectrum Spreading and Enhanced Doppler capabilities)
*.an innovative low profile active electronically steered Ka-band antenna (ANTARES-A developed by Thales Communications & Security) to allow more accurate pointing and increased throughput capabilities
A flight demonstration is scheduled in 2015.
Thales Alenia Space is a joint venture between Thales (67%) and Finmeccanica (33%).

First AgustaWestland Assembled Italian ICH-47F Chinook Performs Maiden Flight

The first Italian assembled ICH-47F Chinook for the Italian Army successfully accomplished its maiden flight on June 24th at Vergiate in Italy. The aircraft took to the air for 15 minutes, performing as expected whilst carrying out basic handling tests and main systems checks. This ICH-47F Chinook is the first of an order for 16 units plus four options placed by the Italian MoD Procurement Agency (ARMAEREO). The contract also includes a five year logistic support service.
The delivery of the first aircraft is planned in early 2014 with final deliveries in 2017. The ICH-47Fs will be operated by the Italian Army Aviation 1st Regiment "Antares" based in Viterbo and they will replace the 40 CH-47C Chinooks that have been in service since 1973.
Under a Joint Industrial Agreement with Boeing, AgustaWestland is prime contractor for the Italian ICH-47F programme, with responsibility for systems integration, final assembly and aircraft delivery to the Italian Army. In addition AgustaWestland is also being qualified by Boeing to produce the entire drive systems.
Boeing builds the fuselage in its rotorcraft facility in Ridley Park, Pennsylvania, United States. Final assembly is carried out at AgustaWestland's Vergiate plant in Northern Italy.
The ICH-47F customised version incorporates a secure communications system, self-protection system and advanced data link system. This new ICH-47F Chinook variant has a Maximum All Up Weight (MAUW) of 23 tons, is equipped with two Honeywell T55-GA-714A engines giving it excellent “hot and high” capability and is suitable for all weather operations.
The primary tactical mission of the ICH-47F aircraft is to provide air transportation for equipment and troops. Cargo can be carried internally and externally using the aircraft's cargo hook system. The helicopter's payload, long range and high cruise speed make it a unique asset to meet the Italian Army's needs and can additionally perform special support functions, disaster relief and fire fighting roles.
The Joint Industrial Agreement between AgustaWestland and Boeing also includes a licensing arrangement that enables AgustaWestland to market, sell and produce these “Chinooks” for other countries.

Bombardier Completes Ground Vibration Tests and Software Upgrades of CSeries Ahead of Maiden Flight

CSeries FTV1

Bombardier Aerospace has completed ground vibration tests, and software upgrades on the first CSeries aircraft – Flight Test Vehicle 1 (FTV1), ahead of its maiden flight in July.
In addition, Safety of Flight (SOF) statements from all suppliers have been obtained and Bombardier’s Flight Test Centre has applied to Transport Canada for the FTV1 Flight Test Permit.
During the final testing stage in preparation for first flight, FTV1 will conduct power runs, as well as low and high speed taxiing. Based on the latest program review, the first flight will occur by the end of July 2013.
In order to enhance the effectiveness of the flight program, Bombardier extended the timeline slightly to allow for additional software upgrades for improved system maturity and functionality.
CSeries aircraft:
Designed for the growing 100- to 149-seat market, the 100 per cent new CSeries aircraft family combines advanced materials, leading-edge technology and proven methods to meet commercial airline requirements. Powered by Pratt & Whitney PurePower PW1500G engines,the CSeries aircraft family will offer a 15 per cent cash operating cost advantage and a 20 per cent fuel burn advantage. With the extra capacity seating option, the CS300 aircraft’s productivity further improves, offering airlines an average of four per cent additional cash operating cost advantage per seat. The CSeries aircraft’s clean-sheet design is ensuring that the aircraft will achieve greatly reduced noise and emissions, as well as superior operational flexibility, exceptional airfield performance and a range of 2,950 nm (5,463 km). The CSeries aircraft will be up to 12,000 lbs. (5,443 kg) lighter than other aircraft in the same seat category and will provide passengers with a best-in-class, widebody cabin environment in a single-aisle aircraft.
As of today, Bombardier has booked orders and commitments for 388 CSeries aircraft, which include firm orders for 177C Series airliners.

Boeing Begins Assembly of First KC-46A Tanker Aircraft

Boeing on wednesday, began assembly of its first prototype KC-46A aerial refueling aircraft for US Air Force, at its Everett production line.
Workers loaded the first wing spar for the first KC-46A tanker, starting production of the aircraft and achieving another milestone toward delivering 179 tankers during the next 14 years.
The KC-46A is based on the commercial 767-200ER, a proven airframe in service as an airliner, freighter and tanker. Boeing has delivered more than 1,050 767s worldwide.
The spar, the main structural component of the wing, is 82 feet 5 inches long. On the aircraft, it provides critical support for flight loads and the weight of the wings when the plane is not flying.
The program’s next major contractual milestone, the Air Force’s Critical Design Review, starts next month.
When the aircraft comes off the Everett production line, it will be a 767-2C Provisioned Freighter that will eventually become a military-configured KC-46 tanker.
The first fully equipped KC-46 is slated to fly in early 2015.
Boeing employees are also preparing the 767 production line for assembly of the next-generation tanker’s aft and forward body structures. The aircraft will be assembled in November and roll out of the factory in January 2014.
Boeing expects to build and deliver the first 18 KC-46As by 2017 and a total of 179 by 2027 if all options under the contract are exercised.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Indian Air Force Mi-17 V5 Chopper Crashes During Uttarakhand Relief Operation

An Indian Air Force's newly inducted Mi-17 V5 helicopter on a relief and rescue mission in flood hit Uttarakhand state crashed while operating in adverse weather.
The helicopter was operating from Gauchar to Guptkashi and Kedarnath on return leg from Kedarnath. It crashed at North of Gaurikund.
A senior IAF officer in Gauchar said the Mi-17 chopper had made two sorties to the Kedarnath area since morning and was on its third when it crashed.
The 20 persons onboard including five crew members onboard were feared dead. The tragic accident underlines the risks pilots are taking to evacuate those stranded.
The reason for the crash has yet to be ascertained, while a Court of Inquiry has been ordered to investigate into the accident. Despite crash of its newly inducted mainstay helicopter, IAF is continuing its rescue operations.
On Sunday, a private helicopter carrying relief materials for the rain-affected people in Rudraprayag district had crashed near Gaurikund leaving the pilot injured.
Meanwhile, President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee has condoled the tragic crash. In his condolence message to Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal N.A.K. Browne the President has said, “In this moment of grief, I offer my most profound condolences to the grieving families of the victims. I salute the courage and supreme sacrifice of the heroes who laid down their lives in the line of duty. 
In 2008, India signed a deal with Russia to supply 80 Mi-17s to augment its existing fleet of around 150 Mi-8 and Mi-17 medium-lift choppers. IAF formally inducted Mi-17V5s on 17 Feb 2012.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Delivery Milestones For Rolls Royce LiftSystem For F-35B

Rolls-Royce has completed two key milestone deliveries for the F-35 Lightning II program, as production matures for the LiftSystem™, the only technology in the world capable of providing vertical-lift for 5th-generation fighter aircraft.
Rolls-Royce recently delivered the 50th 3-Bearing Swivel Module (3BSM) and 40th LiftFan™ for F-35B aircraft manufactured by Lockheed Martin, and is on schedule for LiftSystem deliveries.
Additionally, field support from Rolls-Royce for the F-35B’s LiftSystem has expanded, with technical representatives now providing services at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona; Eglin Air Force Base, Florida; Edwards Air Force Base, California; Fort Worth, Texas; and Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland.
Rolls-Royce is also supporting the US Marine Corps in preparation for upcoming sea trials with the F-35B aircraft, as well as the process moving toward Initial Operational Capability in 2015.
TheRolls-Royce LiftSystem® comprises the Rolls-Royce LiftFan®, Driveshaft, 3 Bearing Swivel Module (3BSM) and Roll Posts.
The unique 3BSM is a swivelling exhaust capable of redirecting the rear thrust from the horizontal to the vertical position, tilting downward 95 degrees in only 2.5 seconds. The LiftFan, a 50-inch two-stage, counter-rotating, blisked fan installed just behind the cockpit of the F-35B, providing 20,000 lbs. of downward thrust. The 3BSM and LiftFan are connected to the powerful F135 engine from Pratt & Whitney.
Aircraft roll control is achieved using the Roll Posts mounted in the wings of the aircraft, which provide a further 1,950lbf of thrust each.
Lockheed Martin has delivered 26 F-35Bs and the fleet has surpassed 3,000 flight hours, with approximately 750 short takeoffs and more than 400 vertical landings using the Rolls-Royce LiftSystem®.
In May 2013, an F-35B test aircraft completed the first vertical takeoff in programme history.
Lockheed Martin developed the idea for a Short Take-Off Vertical Landing (STOVL) lift system that uses a vertically oriented Shaft Driven Lift Fan (SDLF). A two-stage low-pressure turbine on the engine provides the horsepower necessary to power the Rolls-Royce designed LiftFan. The LiftFan generates a column of cool air that provides nearly 20,000 pounds of lifting power using variable inlet guide vanes to modulate the airflow, along with an equivalent amount of thrust from the downward vectored rear exhaust to lift the aircraft. The LiftFan utilizes a clutch that engages the shaft drive system for STOVL operations. Because the Liftfan extracts power from the engine, exhaust temperatures are reduced by about 200 degrees compared to traditional STOVL systems.
The LiftFan, a patented Lockheed Martin concept, was developed and produced by Rolls-Royce Corp. in Indianapolis, Indiana and in Bristol, England.

US Navy Inducts First F-35C Lightning II

Photo: US Navy

The first Lockheed Martin F-35C Lightning II Navy carrier variant (CV) aircraft, CF-6, for US Navy, arrived at Strike Fighter Squadron 101 located at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, on Saturday. The jet is the Navy’s first 5th generation aircraft.
Strike Fighter Squadron 101 will serve as the F-35C Fleet Replacement Squadron, training both pilots and maintainers. CF-6 will join a fleet of 12 F-35A conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) jets and 13 F-35B short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) jets already assigned to Eglin. Later this year, four additional CVs will join the fleet.
U.S. Navy test pilot Lt. Cmdr. Chris Tabert flew CF-6 on its ferry flight. Last year, he became the first military test pilot to fly all variants of the F-35.
The F-35C, the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps' CV,has larger wings and more robust landing gear than the other F-35 variants. The CV has the greatest internal fuel, at 19,624 pounds, making it suitable for catapult launches and fly-in arrestments aboard naval aircraft carriers. Its wingtips fold to allow for capacity and, like the F-35B, the C-variant uses probe and drogue refueling.
The F-35 Lightning II is a 5th generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment. Three distinct variants of the F-35 will replace the A-10 and F-16 for the U.S. Air Force, the F/A-18 for the U.S. Navy, the F/A-18 and AV-8B Harrier for the U.S. Marine Corps, and a variety of fighters for at least 10 other countries. The U.S. Navy plans to declare Initial Operational Capability with the CV in 2019.
The F-35C will enhance the flexibility, power projection, and strike capabilities of carrier air wings and joint task forces and will complement the capabilities of the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, which currently serves as the Navy's premier strike fighter.
By 2025, the Navy's aircraft carrier-based air wings will consist of a mix of F-35C, F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, EA-18G Growlers electronic attack aircraft, E-2D Hawkeye battle management and control aircraft, Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) air vehicles, MH-60R/S helicopters and Carrier Onboard Delivery logistics aircraft.
To date, Lockheed Martin has delivered 69 F-35s to the US Department of Defense, 26 of which are located at Eglin AFB.

Rolls-Royce And EADS Unveil Hybrid Distributed Propulsion Concept For Future Airliners

Rolls-Royce and EADS unveiled a new power concept for future airliners at the Paris Air Show, which could help reduce CO2 emissions, make less noise and dramatically reduce fuel burn by the middle of the century.

Such an airliner would be powered by a serial hybrid propulsion system, which is similar in concept to the technology found in a growing number of energy efficient motor cars. Propulsion is provided by six electrically-driven fans distributed along the wing span in clusters of three.

A single, large advanced gas turbine generates electrical power which is stored in an advanced energy storage system that could be based on Lithium-air energy storage technology. During climb the distributed fans draw power from the energy storage system, but during descent, they act like wind turbines to generate electrical energy which re-charges the batteries.

For the megaWatt range power levels that an electrical distributed propulsion network requires, a new high-power superconducting electrical system will have to be designed and validated based on cryogenic cooling at temperatures as low as -252ºC.

A major benefit of the distributed propulsion system is that it can be integrated into the airframe's structure to maximise aerodynamic efficiency and optimise the airflow around it. This reduces the aircraft's weight, drag and the amount of noise it makes.

Ric Parker, Director for Research & Technology at Rolls-Royce, said: "The conceptual airliner with the E-Thrust distributed propulsion architecture demonstrates the sort of futuristic thinking backed by solid research and emerging technologies that will lead to a real step-change in airliner design. This in turn would result in a significant reduction in the environmental impact of aviation."
A model of the E-Thrust concept aircraft was featured at the Paris Air Show.

The E-Thrust concept is part of the on-going Distributed Electrical Aerospace Propulsion (DEAP) project which is co-funded by the UK's Technology Strategy Board and, in addition toRolls-Royce and EADS Innovation Works, involves the Universities of Cranfield and Cambridge.

Indian Airforce And Army Conducts Massive Rescue Operations in Flood Hit Uttarakhand

IAF C-130J

On 16 Jun heavy rains wreaked havoc in the hill states of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh leaving thousands stranded including pilgrims in transit in various valleys.
In one of the largest operations in several decades, the Indian Army and Air Force mounted massive rescue and relief operations in the flood and landslide affected areas, while the Border Roads Organisation deployed 3000 of its personnel and equipment, working for various projects, to clear the roads and to rescue the stranded people.
Indian Air Force launched its search and rescue Operation ‘Rahat’ with its newly inducted Mi-17 V5 medium lift helicopters, Mi-17, HAL Dhruv, HAL chetak helos.
Later the newly inducted C-130J Hercules airlifters and Mi-26 heavy lift helicopter also joined the SAR operations.
36 rotary wing aircrafts( 23 Mi 17IV/Mi 17 V5, 11 ALH, 01 Cheetah, 01 Mi 26), three C130Js, three AN-32, one AVRO HS-748 and one IL-76 airlifters were intially deployed. Some private helicopters like Eurocopter Ecureil, Bell 405 are also been used.
The Indian Air Force later deployed 13 more aircraft for relief and rescue operations. 55 helicopters are now being used in what is the military's largest rescue and relief operation ever.
Indian Army so far has evacuated more than 18,500 people and deployed 10,000 soldiers for rescue and relief operations.
IAF activated landing grounds at Gauchar and, Dharasuin, Uttarakhand to establish air bridge for chopper movement and now operates ALH Dhruv and Cheetah helicopters from Gaucher.
On Saturday, Mi-26 landed at Gaucher with 30 barrels of fuel and 70 army paratroppers.
IAF needs 55 kilolitres of ATF every day at Gauchar. So far more than 110 kilolitres of ATF has been delivered for the helicopter involved in rescue operations.Refueller is also on the way to be positioned at Dharasu.
Backup supplies for these refuellers have also been arranged and 198 kilolitres of ATF is in transit to various locations.
As of Saturday, IAF has flown 768 sorties in which 103350 kgs of load has been dropped/landed and 5347 passengers airlifted.
The first C 130J aircraft landed at Dharasu(a landing ground only 1300 meters long) on saturday early morning for the first time despite inclement weather. On landing the aircraft defueled 8000 litres of fuel into an empty bowser which was airlifted yesterday from Sarsawa by a Mi 26 helicopter. With the availability of additional fuel now at Dharasu, the extraction, evacuation and rescue operations have picked up pace and the available helicopters are now able to do more number of sorties.
Apart from the carrying fuel to Dharasu, the first C-130J on its return trip carried about 40 and the second about 100 injured and stranded pilgrims to the Hindon Air Force Station at Delhi. An emergency medical centre has been set up at Air Force Station Hindan for the medical check-up of all the arriving tourists for immediate attention.
The first two C-130J aircraft carried fuel to Dharasu while the third is carried a Medical team of the IAF to attend to sick people at Dharasu itself before were moved out to safer place.
Having paved the way for fixed wing aircraft landing at Dharasu, the IAF pressed its An-32 aircraft also into action. The aircraft carried Disaster Communication equipment vehicle, aviation fuel, Sudan pumps for refueling the helicopters and 4200 kgs of bridging equipment of BRO.
Officials in New Delhi said the HAL-built Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH), which can carry 10-16 people on heights of 10,000 feet, performed effectively in dropping paratroopers and evacuating stranded people.
The heavy lift Mi 26 helicopter is also airlifting the heavy equipment of BRO to facilitate road repair and construction work.
While the fuel bridging has given impetus to rescue operations, increased flying activity in the narrow valleys is posing a new challenge to traffic management and safe flying. IAF has inducted additional personnel to ensure smooth planning, coordination and execution of flying operations, be it Air Force, Army or civilian operators.
Indian Railways is moving people and relief supplies free of charge.
Over 73,000 people have so far been evacuated from the flood and landslide-hit areas of Uttarakhand as rescuers intensified their efforts to help those stranded in different inaccessible parts of the hill state.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Rolls-Royce Delivers Trent 1000 Engines For Boeing 787-9

Rolls-Royce has delivered Trent 1000 engines to power the first test flight of the latest member of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner family, the 787-9.
The engines will provide 74,000lb thrust for the 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, which will fly for the first time later this year. Trent 1000s will also power the aircraft’s entry into service with Air New Zealand in 2014.
The engines that will power the 787-9 are one per cent more fuel efficient than Trent 1000s currently in service.
A further upgrade, the Trent 1000-TEN, will enter service in 2016 and will be up to three per cent more fuel efficient than Trent 1000scurrently in service. The Trent 1000-TEN will be able to power all variants of the 787, including the 787-10. It will deliver the best average range fuel efficiency on the aircraft.
The Trent 1000 powered the Boeing 787 Dreamliner’s entry into service with All Nippon Airways (ANA) in October 2011 and has now completed more than 50,000 flying hours with an engine dispatch reliability of better than 99.9% - the best ever reliability figures for a widebody engine on entering airline service.

US Navy To Provide Anti-Radiation Missile Training To RAAF

The U.S. Navy signed an agreement with the Australian Government on May 31 to provide its High Speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM) and Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM) training capability as part of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) acquisition of the EA-18G Growler.
The Foreign Military Sales (FMS) agreement with Australia for an AARGM training capability marks the first FMS sale involving the weapon. The AARGM is the U.S. Navy’s medium-range air-to-ground missile for suppression and destruction of enemy air defenses.
AARGM addresses current capability gaps in areas where the U.S. Navy deploys and operates its existing Air-to-Ground Missile, the High Speed Anti-Radiation Missile. Specifically, AARGM defeats multiple countermeasures that have been developed by U.S. adversaries since HARM was deployedin the 1980s.
The weapon will be carried on the U.S. F/A-18C/D, F/A-18E/F, EA-18G and Italian Air Force Tornado Electronic Countermeasures/Reconnaissance (ECR) aircraft. Currently, Navy and Marine Corps F/A-18 squadrons areoperating with AARGM.
The RAAF plans to add the HARM and AARGM training capability to their EA-18G aircraft. The Navy and industry partner Alliant Tech Systems (ATK) plan to deliver the capability toAustralians in 2015 to support EA-18G flight testing. Australia announced the decision to acquire 12 EA-18G Growler aircraft in 2012.The AGM-88E AARGM is a medium-range air-to-ground missile employed for Destruction of Enemy Air Defenses (DEAD).

Redesigned Weapon Mount For US Marine's UH-1Y Helos


An engineering team here recently redesigned and tested a UH-1Y helicopter weapons mount which will provide extended ground-firing capabilities to US Marines in Afghanistan.
In response to a Marine Corps Urgent Universal Needs Statement, the Direct and Time Sensitive Strike Program Office (PMA-242) Crew Served Weapons Integration team redesigned the UH-1Y’s weapons mount, which is used to secure crew-served weapons to the aircraft.
While the redesign’s original intent was only for the GAU-17 mini gun, PMA-242 expanded the request to include the GAU-21 and M240 machine guns since the UH-1Y helicopter can carry any combination of two GAU-17, GAU-21 or M240 weapons. The new mount brings the UH-1Y increased capability that puts its field of fire on par with other aircraft, such as the legacy UH-1N helicopter, Corey said. Field of fire refers to the range, elevation and azimuth of a weapon when firing.
During the tests in May, engineers evaluated the redesign of the top bushing of the Defensive Armament System, which holds the weapon-specific mount and the weapon-specific mount stops. The component was redesigned to elevate upward enough to fire weapons farther while the aircraft is on the ground.
The UH-1Y utility helicopter provides command & control and assault support under day/night and adverse weather conditions.
Testing will continue at Pax River for approximately six more months to validate the new design’s functionality. Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron (HMLA) in Afghanistan will be the first squadron to receive the redesigned UH-1Y mount later this year.

Paris Air Show: ATR Secures 173 Aircraft Orders

The 50th edition of the Paris Air Show was the best in the history of the Franco-Italian aircraft manufacturer ATR. Over the course of the week, the turboprop aircraft manufacturer secured orders for 173 planes, including 83 firm orders worth more than 4.1 billion dollars (including 2 billion dollars in firm orders).
The ATR's order book, now comprises over 270 firm aircraft orders for an estimated 6.5 billion dollars. The current order book also ensures ATR's production until the end of 2016, and company recognition in the medium term. Major orders came from aircraft leasing companies and from Latin America.
The landmark order from Nordic Aviation Capital (NAC) for 91 ATR 72-600s (of which 36 are firm) confirms the great attractiveness of ATR to leasing companies. Alongside the NAC aircraft orders, are the five ATR 72-600 aircraft ordered by the U.S. lessor Air Lease Corporation (ALC). Since their first contracts for the purchase of the new ATR '-600' series, these two companies have renewed orders each year for new ATR -600s. Since 2010, leasing companies have shown renewed and growing interest in regional aircraft, notably for ATR '-600s’: the latest product in the ATR aircraft family. These planes represent 75% of acquisitions of regional aircraft with less than 90 seats by leasing companies since 2010. Over the past three years, ATR has seen nearly 110 firm orders from lessors.
Latin America was also a significant client for ATR at the Paris Air Show. Twenty ATR 72-600s (including 10 firm aircraft orders) from HGI Aircraft Division for the Brazilian airline Passaredo Linhas Aéreas confirmed the great popularity of ATRs in Brazil, a market where the manufacturer has recorded firm orders for 59 aircraft in the last three years. For its part, the national airline Avianca took delivery of its first ATR 72-600 at the Air Show, which is the first stage of a major campaign to modernize its fleet of regional aircraft and a significant expansion of its regional networks in Colombia and Central America. To date, Avianca has placed fifteen firm orders for ATR 72-600s, and also has options for 15 more aircraft. Over 200 ATRs will be in operation in Latin America within the next two years, which is why ATR and Avianca have also announced their partnership in opening a new training center for pilots, approved by ATR, in Bogota, Colombia. This center will be available to the 30 ATR operators in Latin America.
ATR has also proved in recent years to be successful in South East Asia, a market which experiences strong development of its regional networks. Since 2005, ATR has sold over 170 new firm aircraft to South East Asian carriers, accounting for 98% of all regional aircraft with up to 90 seats sold in the region during this period.

ScanEagle UAVs For Royal Navy

British Defence Ministry has signed £30 million contract for ScanEagle mini maritime reconnaissance drones for Royal Navy.
Built by Insitu, a subsidiary of Boeing, the ScanEagle is the first maritime-specific unmanned air system capable of supporting naval operations.
ScanEagle will be launched off the back of Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary ships day or night to gather intelligence and survey the wider area of operations.
It will complement the existing British intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets such as helicopters and long-range radars.
Under the contract, Boeing will provide contractor-owned, contractor-operated service until March 2015, with options to extend the services further.
It carries either an electro-optical or an infrared camera. Both are inertially stabilized. The gimbaled camera allows the operator to easily track both stationary and moving targets. ScanEagle vehicles can operate individually or in groups to loiter over trouble spots.
The unarmed aircraft, has a wingspan of just over 3 metres and weighs 22 kilograms and powered by a 1.9 hp (1.4 kw), 2-stroke engine. It has a ceiling of 5,944 m and a max horizontal speed of 80 knots. ScanEagle can remain covert and on station for more than 24 hours.
The ScanEagle is launched autonomously by a pneumatic wedge catapult launcher and flies preprogrammed or operator-initiated missions. A "skyhook" system is used for retrieval, with the UAV catching a rope hanging from a 50-foot-high pole. The patented system allows ScanEagle to be runway independent and operate from forward fields, mobile vehicles or small ships.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Fokker Secures Additional F-35 Electrical And Nozzle Study Contracts

Dutch Fokker Elmo has secured an additional contract from Lockheed Martin for the delivery of additional Electrical Wiring & Interconnection Systems, valued at €40 million. Under this contract, Fokker will be responsible for the manufacturing of electrical systems for the next batch of F-35 aircrafts. Fokker recently delivered the 100th shipset to Lockheed Martin.
Fokker also signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with Pratt & Whitney to study added engine nozzle work in the Netherlands to manufacture and deliver nozzle components, sub-assemblies and related spare parts for F135 engine exhaust.
F-135 engine powers the F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter. The LOI wassigned on June 19 at the concluded Paris Air Show.
The Nozzle fabrication is critical to the performance of the F135 engine and made of precision titanium technology still keeping its ultimate stealth signature. Fokker has worked with Pratt & Whitney on this program since 2002.
Fokker Technologies is the group name for four specialized Fokker Business Units: Fokker Aerostructures, Fokker Elmo, Fokker Landing Gear and Fokker Services. Fokker Technologies develops and produces advanced structures and electrical systems for the aerospace and defense industry, and supplies integrated services and products to aircraft owners and operators.

Thales FLASH Sonar Enters Service With French Navy NH90 Caiman Helicopters

During the three-month long deployment of the French Navy FREMM frigate Aquitaine, the implementation crew for the NH90 helicopter from 33F Squadron had an opportunity to experience the operational capabilities of the Thales FLASH SONICS sonar system.
This first long-term mission for a FREMM was an opportunity for French Navy crews to experience first-hand the detection ranges and processing capacities of FLASH SONICS.
The FLASH system (Folding Light Acoustic System for Helicopters) is an active low-frequency airborne sonar that has been requested by the French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) for the French Navy's new anti-submarine warfare helicopters to detect and track opposing force submarines. The key benefits of this sonar include long-range detection with broad sector coverage and low false alarm rates in open ocean as well as littoral waters. Associated with an active and passive sonobuoy processing system, FLASH SONICS provides an unparalleled airborne anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capability and is designed for easy integration on board helicopters.
The NH90 helicopter's ASW capabilities complement and extend those of the frigate's Captas-4 towed array sonar and UMS 4110 hull-mounted sonar, which are also supplied by Thales.
The success of the FLASH sonar family has made Thales a world leader in airborne sonar technology. More than 200 of these new-generation sonars have been ordered to date, and the same core system equips the US Navy's Seahawk, the UK Royal Navy's Merlin EH101 and the Super Pumas in service with the United Arab Emirates Navy. The Norwegian Navy will soon take delivery of its FLASH SONICS system, while Sweden has selected the FLASH-S, a special version optimised for operations in the Baltic Sea. COMPACT FLASH, a version developed for lighter helicopters, has also met with initial success in export markets. Thales has set up a full-rate production facility in Brest, Brittany, to manufacture the FLASH systems, and further investments are underway to expand production capacity by 30%.

Thales Alenia Conducts Drop Test of IXV Atmospheric Reentry Demonstrator

The descent and splashdown test of IXV (Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle), the atmospheric reentry vehicle of the European Space Agency built by Thales Alenia Space, was carried out on Wednesday, with great success at the Salto di Quirra Inter-force Test Range in Sardinia, Italy.
The “drop test” was very important for the qualification of IXV and it verified the correctworking of the chain of descent and recovery systems envisaged by the mission profile.
Transported by a helicopter provided by the Army Light Aviation Unit, the test model in 1:1 scale, designed by Thales Alenia Space and assembled in Capua at CIRA (Italian Aerospace Research Center), was launched from an altitude of 3,000 meters and, splashing down in the Mediterranean Sea, it reproduced the last descent phase of the vehicle.
The objective of the IXV project is to develop a European autonomous atmospheric reentrysystem, characterized by high aerodynamic properties, owing to its particular “lifting” shape and by a sophisticated guidance, navigation and control system based on propulsion and aerodynamic surfaces, as well as by a system for the thermal protection needed to guarantee reentry into the atmosphere.
Thales Alenia Space is in charge of the design,development and integration of the IXV vehicle and heads a consortium formed by the main European industries, to which research centers and universities also contribute.
Delivery of the vehicle to the European Space Agency is planned for May 2014 and the launch, with the European launch vehicle Vega, for the summer of 2014.
The separation from Vega will take place at an altitude of 320 km. IXV will continue its ascent until reaching an altitude of 430 km, to then begin the reentry phase in which the experimental data will be acquired through both the conventional and advanced instrumentation on board the vehicle.
The speed of entry into the atmosphere will be around 7.5 km/sec at an altitude of 120 km. The mission, which will last approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes, will end with the splashdown in the Pacific Ocean.
The development of this technological demonstrator by Thales Alenia Space, as part of a project strongly supported by the Italian Space Agency, strengthens the presence of the Italian industry in the design and construction of transport and reentry systems, in support of the Space Exploration program and in view of the development of next generation transport systems.

General Atomics Partner With Fokker For Dutch MALE UAS

General Atomics, leading manufacturer of Remotely Piloted Aircrafts has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Dutch Fokker Technologies,

Sagem Sigma 95 Navigation Systems For Indian Airforce Jets

Le Bourget, France
IAF SU-30MKI Fighter

Sagem Sigma 95 INS
Indian aircraft manufacturer Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) has ordered 107 Sigma 95 navigation systems kits from Sagem (Safran) for the Indian Air Force’s combat aircrafts.
Developed and produced by Sagem, Sigma 95 is an autonomous hybrid inertial navigation system combining laser gyros and GPS/Glonass satellite navigation. It ensures high-precision navigation and broad operational flexibility for both combat and special-mission aircraft.
Two-thirds of the systems in this order will be manufacturered in India by HAL, further cementing the partnership agreeement on navigation systems signed by Sagem and Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd.
Sagem is a leading supplier of inertial navigation systems for Indian combat aircraft, warships and weapon systems. Nearly 500 combat aircraft deployed by the Indian air force and navy are now fitted with Sagem equipment. The systems in this latest order will join the Sigma 95 systems already in service on India’s combat aircraft.
Produced in Sagem’s Montluçon plant in the Auvergne region of south-central France, Sagem’s navigation systems are deployed on some of the world’s latest miliary aircraft,including the Dassault Rafale fighter, A400M military transport, NH90 helicopter and EC725 Caracal helicopters used by special forces.
GPS (Global Positioning System) and Glonass (GLObal’naya NAvigatsionnaya Sputnikovaya Sistema) are respectively the American and Russian satellite positioning systems.
Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) has also entered into a contract with SAGEM for setting up of manufacturing and depot level maintenance facilities for Automatic Flight Control System (AFCS) LRUs (Line Replacement Units) including sensor at HAL facility at Hyderabad.
The Transfer of Technology (ToT) will enable HAL-Hyderabad to in-house manufacture and depot level maintenance of AFCS LRUs for ALH Dhruv helicopter, IJT trainer jet platforms. The possibility of fitting AFCS LRUs on the under development Light Combat Helicopter and Light Utility Helicopter platforms is also being explored
The automatic flight control system(AFCS) in an aircraft is coupled to the guidance outputs from an inertial navigation system (INS).
Sagem supplies flight control system for the HAL built ALH Dhruv helicopter. In addition, it makes Sigma laser gyro navigation systems,hundreds of which have been acquired for India’s Hawk trainers, Jaguar, MiG-27, MiG-29K, Sukhoi-30 MKI and LCA Tejas combat aircraft.
The Sigma 95N INS is based upon three highly accurate 32cm digital laser gyroscopes. It is equipped with a GPS or GPS/Glonass receiver and makes use of a powerful multimode Kalman filter to optimize performance by hybridizing inertial and satellite data.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

$26 Billion Worth Orders For GE And CFM At 2013 Paris Air Show

GE GEnx Turbine

GE Aviation and its joint venture companies announced more than $26.5 billion (USD) in orders at this week's Paris Air Show.

Airbus Bags 466 Aircraft Orders Worth US$68 Billion at Paris Air Show 2013

Airbus announced it won US $68.7 billion worth of business for a total of 466 aircrafts during the 2013 Paris Air Show. The deals comprise Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for 225 aircraft worth US$29.4 billion and firm purchase orders for 241 aircraft worth US $39.3 billion.

Paris Air Show: United Airlines Reach Agreement for 35 Airbus A350-1000 Aircrafts

United Airlines and Airbus have announced that the airline will add 35 Airbus A350-1000 aircraft to its future fleet.

Paris Air Show: IOMAX Unveil Archangel Armed Border Patrol Aircraft

IOMAX unveiled its new Archangel armed surveillance aircraft during the 2013 Paris Airshow. Archangel is based on the Thrush 710P two-seated agricultural aircraft used for crop dusting, manufactured by Thrush Aircraft of Albany, Georgia.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Paris Air Show: Meteor BVRM For Eurofighter Typhoons

Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH signed a weapon system integration contract with NETMA, the NATO Eurofighter and Tornado Management Agency, to facilitate and secure integration of MBDA’s Meteor Beyond Visual Range Missile system.

South Africa’s Denel To Manufacture Structural Components For Airbus A400M

A400M At Paris Air Show

Airbus Military has placed a third work package with South Africa’s Denel Aerostructures (DAe) for the manufacture of structural components for the A400M military transport programme.
This multi-million Rand contract was received at the Paris Airshow on behalf of South Africa’s Minister for Public Enterprises, Mr Malusi Gigaba and Denel’s Group CEO, Mr Riaz Saloojee on Tuesday.
Under the contract DAe will produce ribs, spars and swords (ie. the skeletal support structure) for the A400M’s vertical tail plane.
South Africa’s Minister of Public Enterprises, Mr Malusi Gigaba, said: “The approximately ZAR200-million (€15.1m) work package is contracted to run over the entire life of the A400M programme and demonstrates Airbus Military’s confidence in Denel and South Africa’s design and manufacturing capabilities, coupled with our ability to deliver on time and within budgets.”
DAe has already begun preparing to launch production of the components at its plant near Johannesburg and will deliver the first finished shipset to Airbus’s specialised vertical tail plane factory at Stade, Germany in March 2014.
Under a renegotiated contract announced last September, the South African manufacturer is also responsible for two other A400M work packages involving the design, engineering and fabrication of the Wing-to-Fuselage Fairing and the fuselage Top Shells.
The wing-to-fuselage fairing is the largest single aerostructure component ever produced in South Africa and provides an aerodynamic shroud over sensitive equipment located in the centre wing part of the A400M. The fairing protects the equipment from lightning, hail damage and bird strikes.
The fuselage Top Shells are made up of more than 1100 individual parts and a large machined skin, engineered out of an aluminium alloy. Each A400M is fitted with two Top Shells, positioned in front and behind the wings where they join the fuselage. They are also fitted with approximately 1000 brackets which support electrical and electronic wiring, hot air and heat exchange pipes and the aircraft’s emergency liferafts.

Paris Air Show: Alenia Announce New M-345 HET Jet Trainer Program

Alenia Aermacchi and Italian Defence Ministry have signed an agreement to jointly define the operational specifications and collaborate on the development of a new basic-advanced trainer, the M-345 HET (High Efficiency Trainer).
The agreement, announced Tuesday at the Le Bourget Paris Air Show by the Secretary General of the Ministry of Defence, Gen. Claudio Debertolis and Alenia Aermacchi Chief Executive Officer, Giuseppe Giordo, calls for the immediate creation of a joint working team between the Defence and industry to define the technical specifications of this new aircraft and identify the steps necessary for the preliminary study and its consequent development, taking into account the principles of cost effectiveness and to satisfy the possible requirements of the global market.
The new HET will be a further development of the M-345 jet trainer, the latest solution proposed by Alenia Aermacchi for the basic-advanced phase of military pilot training.
The avionics system of the M-345 HET, through a significant containment of acquisition and operation costs, aims to offer a cheaper and more effective solution in the training of military pilots compared with the current advanced turboprop solutions which, although sharing the same weight class of the M-345 HET and similar on-board equipment, provide only limited performance and training effectiveness.
The M-345 HET will be equipped with a turbofan engine in the 1.600 kg (3,500 lb) thrust class and will offer long endurance and high load factors between +7/-3,5 g. Furthermore, it will feature state-of-the-art avionics, including a HUD (Head Up Display) in the front cockpit and a repeater in the rear cockpit and multi-function digital displays for both pilot stations and HOTAS (Hands On Throttle-And-Stick) controls. The new trainer will be designed to guarantee a training syllabus perfectly aligned with that of the advanced and pre-operative M-346, starting from the elevated similarity between the two cockpits that will allow for the interoperability in joint training missions.
With regards to logistics, operating costs will be reduced due to the fact that the M-345 will be designed with a two-level maintenance concept, eliminating the third and most onerous level of general revision of the aircraft.
Easy access to the simple on-board systems and devices and a HUMS(Health and Usage Monitoring System) that provides all information on structure, engine and system for an effective monitoring of the condition of each single component/system, will simplify maintenance.
The introduction of the pressure refueling system and of an OBOGS (On-Board Oxygen Generating System) will significantly reduce the quantity of personnel required for aircraft ground operations, thus reducing the interval time between flights and making the M-345 HET even more advantageous under the management profile.
This is the latest attempt by Alenia to find a market for its legacy, unsold M-211 single-engine jet trainer, which was derived from the decades-old SIAI-Marchetti S.211.

EASA Certifies Microturbo e-APU60 Auxillary Power Unit

The Microturbo e-APU60 auxillary power unit has been certified by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
The e-APU60, which is specially designed to meet the demands of new-generation more-electric aircraft, completed its certification tests on May 31. Altogether, seven engines took part in the certification tests and seven more engines in the helicopter-integrated tests, totaling over 1,000 hours and 5,000 cycles of testing.
During the tests, the e-APU60 has successfully validated its reliability and its endurance in extreme operating conditions, as well as its impressive performance in normal flight conditions.
The entry into service of the first systems is scheduled during the second semester of 2013.
The e-APU concept is based on a streamlined architecture with a two-stage axial turbine and a high-pressure cycle. Delivering electrical power ranging from 15 to 90 kWe, the e-APU offers significant benefits compared to current auxiliary power units in terms of endurance, reliability, power-to-weight ratio and environment-friendliness, exceptional compactness, and cost of ownership. It also meets and anticipates current environmental standards, featuring impressively low fuel consumption, pollution and noise emission levels.
In addition to ground starting the main engines, supplying power to the electrical systems and providing cabin air conditioning for the AgustaWestland AW189, the e-APU60 is also capable of restarting the engines in flight and providing an additional source of power required to cover all electrical needs throughout the flight envelope. Flight safety is therefore optimized.
Microturbo is currently ramping up production and setting up a complete support organization to meet all customer expectations.
Delivering up to 60 kWe of electrical power, the e-APU60 is capable of covering all the aircraft’s electrical needs throughout the flight envelope.
Microturbo (Safran)specializes in the design and production of high-technology power systems and propulsion systems. State-of-the-art and reliable power solutions offered include the large proven range in Microturbo gas turbines, but also innovations resulting of an important R&D investment and strategic partnerships. Microturbo is a world leader in the field of power systems and propulsion systems and has delivered over 13,000 units.

Boeing, Flightglobal Name MIT's Tweddle Engineering Student of the Year

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) doctorate student Brent E. Tweddle, who helped develop a robotic spacecraft research system used on the International Space Station, receivedthe 2013 Boeing Engineering Student of the Year Awardfrom Boeing and Flightglobal during a June 18 ceremony at the Paris Air Show.
Tweddle, a Ph.D. candidate in the MIT Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics’ Space Systems Laboratory, was recognized for exceptional academic, research, and professional skills, and leadership of a program known as SPHERES VERTIGO.
That program demonstrated new vision-based navigation algorithms that had never before been tested in space. Vision-based navigation is considered to be a critical element of enabling future autonomous servicing, inspection, and in-space assembly missions.
Boeing and Flightglobal have partnered since 2005 for the global Engineering Student of the Year competition.Any full- or part-time engineering student pursuing a recognized degree at the undergraduate or graduate levels can participate. A winner’s work must be likely to impact the future of aerospace engineering in areas including new or enhanced capabilities; systems, processes or tools; new levels of performance; and improved life cycle costs.
The award is one way Boeing supports efforts that encourage students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Paris Air Show: Cassidian Launch New Research Programme-Sagitta To Develop Future UAS Technologies

 Cassidian's "Sagitta" research project. Photo: Cassidian
At the Paris Air Show, Cassidian announced its new research programme to develop future Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) technologies. The project, called "Sagitta", will conduct basic research into future UASs.
Sagitta will be developed in close cooperation with German universities and institutes.
The Sagitta project includes the construction of a flight demonstrator, the purpose of which is to verify the validity and feasibility of the theoretical research results. Flights with the Sagitta flight demonstrator are scheduled for 2014.
The reference configuration for the research work is a tailless flying wing with a wingspan of 12 metres. The demonstrator will initially be built on a scale of 1:4. The wind tunnel tests have already been successfully completed.
Sagitta is concerned with a total of seven research areas of UAS development: preliminary aircraft design, aerodynamics, flight control systems, communications and data processing, vision-based flight control and air-to-air refuelling, materials and structure, autonomous flight and mission control, simulation and systems integration.

Airbus Military A400M Successfully Demonstrates Flare Release

Airbus Military has successfully demonstrated the release of decoy flares from the A400M new generation airlifter as part of the development of the aircraft's self-protection systems.
The flares are designed to mislead heat-seeking anti-aircraft missiles, particularly surface-to-air missiles (SAM). They are a crucial part of the self-protection system because of the A400M´s ability to operate from short and unpaved airstrips close to the scene of military action where Surface to Air Missiles (SAM) may be fielded by an enemy.
Picture: /11Ia5z0

First IAF C-17 Strategic Airlifter Arrives in India

The first of the ten Boeing C-17 Globemaster III strategic airlifters, ordered from the United States, arrived in India, at Hindan airbase, New Delhi today. With the training of the aircrew and the ground crew being conducted by the United States Air Force.
The aircraft was received by Air Marshal S Sukumar, Deputy Chief of the Air Staff at the Hindan airbase, where it would be based.
The aircraft will enhance the operational potential of the IAF with its payload carriage and performance capability and would augment the strategic reach during disaster relief or any similar mission. The induction of C-17 is a major milestone in the modernization drive of the IAF.
Boeing is on track to deliver four more C-17s to the IAF this year and five in 2014. This first aircraft was transferred on June 11 after completion of a flight test program at Edwards Air Force Base in Palmdale, California, that began following the Jan. 22 delivery.
The IAF C-17 fleet will play a crucial role in any force projection along the 4057-km long frontier with China.
A high-wing, 4-engine, T-tailed military-transport aircraft, can carry large equipment, supplies and troops directly to small airfields in harsh terrain anywhere in the world day or night. The massive, sturdy, long-haul aircraft tackles distance, destination and heavy, oversized payloads in unpredictable conditions.
The C-17's ability to fly long distances and land in remote airfields in rough, land-locked regions make it a premier transporter for military, humanitarian and peace keeping missions.
It can take off from a 7,600-ft. airfield, carry a payload of 160,000 pounds, fly 2,400 nautical miles, refuel while in flight and land in 3,000 ft. or less on a small unpaved or paved airfield in day or night.
India is expected to place a repeat order for 6 more C-17s after evaluating its operational performance.

Paris Air Show: Boeing Launches Stretched 787-10 Dreamliner Jet


Boeing today at the 2013 Paris Air Show officially launched its largest 787 variant- 787-10, also the third member of the super-efficient 787 family. Boeing also announced commitments for 102 787-10 airplanes from five customers across Europe, Asia and North America.
Customer launch commitments for the 787-10 include Air Lease Corporation, with 30 airplanes; GE Capital Aviation Services, with 10; International Airlines Group / British Airways, with 12 subject to shareholder approval; Singapore Airlines, with 30 and United Airlines, with 20 airplanes.
The new stretched 787-10 will fly up to 7,000 nautical miles (12,964 km) — covering more than 90 percent of the world's twin-aisle routes — with seating for 300-330 passengers, depending on an airline's configuration choices.
The 787-10X will offer more seating and cargo capacity, while sacrificing the long range of the 787 models.
The 787-10X is stretched by 18 ft. to 224 ft. than 787-9, to seat an additional 43 passengers.
The second member of the family, the 787-9, is in final assembly in Everett, Washington, and is set to make its first flight later this year.
"The 787-10 Dreamliner will be the most-efficient jetliner in history. The airplane's operating economics are unmatched and it has all the incredible passenger-pleasing features that set the 787 family apart as truly special," said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner. "The 787-10 is 25 percent more efficient than airplanes of its size today and more than 10 percent better thananything being offered by the competition for the future."
Design of the 787-10 has already started at Boeing, and international partners will be involved in detailed design in the months ahead. Final assembly and flight test of the 787-10 are set to begin in 2017, with first delivery targeted for 2018.
General Electric and Rolls-Royce will power the 787-10 with 76,000lb-thrust versions of the GEnx-1B and the Trent 1000-10, respectively.
The 787 family's unique interior offers passengers technologies that make their flights more enjoyable, including large, dimmable windows; cleaner air; higher humidity; lower cabin altitude; bigger stowage bins; soothing LED lighting and a smoother ride. The 787-10 will share a common type rating not only with the 787-8 and 787-9 but also with the popular Boeing 777, giving airlines additional flexibility in scheduling and training flight crews.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Raytheon Launches New Software Update For Patriot Air Defense System

Raytheon Company has started delivering a new release of software, Post Deployment Build-7 (PDB-7), to its worldwide Patriot customer base. PDB-7 is the latest in a series of software deployment builds revolutionizing the Patriot Air and Missile Defense System.
The PDB-7 software gives soldiers state-of-the-art capabilities by leveraging the latestPatriot Configuration-3 hardware modernization improvements in the radar and battle management command, control, communication, computers, and intelligence (BMC4I) areas. Technical improvements include major enhancements that allow soldiers in the field to defend against current threats and easily adapt and respond to changing threat environments.
Key enhancements supported by the new PDB-7 software include:
*.The new Modern Man Station (MMS), with color LCD displays, touch screens and soft keys, improves situational awareness and decision-making during tactical operations. The enhanced view gives soldiers in the field the ability to quickly differentiate between threats and non-threats, and see threats sooner and further out. Reacting quickly and appropriately will decrease the possibility of confusion and fratricide.
*.The new Radar Digital Processor (RDP), witha ruggedized commercial off-the-shelf processor, increases the reliability of the digital processing system and related analog components by 10-fold, resulting in a predicted 40 percent increase in overall radar reliability. More importantly, it enablesfuture capabilities through software upgrades, including improved target detection and identification, multifunction surveillance and the full support of advanced PAC-3 missile enhancements.
*.The new Modern Adjunct Processor (MAP) isan expandable processing platform that is at the heart of the Command and Control modernization. MAP increases Patriot's computer processing power by several orders of magnitude today while also providing significant expansion capability for the future. MAP seamlessly integrates today's technology, such as the MMS, and enables integration of future cutting-edge technologies as they are developed.
About Patriot
Patriot is the world's most capable air and missile defense system, providing protection against a full range of advanced threats, including aircraft, tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles. It is the system of choice for 12 nations around the globe.
Raytheon is the prime contractor for both domestic and international Patriot Air and Missile Defense Systems and system integrator for Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missiles.